Boxing champion helps to transforms lives outside the boxing ring

Posted: Updated:
MORRIS HEIGHTS -

From the streets to the ring, one man is transforming lives through boxing.

Tony Bruce, or known by his students at “Mr. T,” is a five-time Golden Glove champion from the Bronx.

"When I first met him, I thought I met God himself in disguise as a boxer,” says Gelasio "Double G" Velez, light featherweight boxer.

Mr. T has since hung up his own gloves and can now be found lacing them up for his students.

"They changed my life, actually,” says Mr. T.

However, his students will argue that Mr .T changed theirs

"The person that I was before this, I wasn’t proud of who I was, gang banging in the streets, a lot of crypt members, and I was hustling out there, selling drugs, doing wrong things and it wasn’t the person I wanted to be in the future,” says Velez.

His studnts say they were saved by the bell before they experienced a knock out.

"There’s no bullets flying here, just hands that are flying now, so I’m grateful,” says Velez.

Mr. T saved their lives because he was once in their shoes.

"I was one of them kids on the street. I was getting in a lot of trouble, and my brother took me to the gym one day,” says Mr. T.

After much success in the ring, Mr. T can now be found cheering and encouraging from beyond the ropes.

“I don’t just want you to be a great fighter, I want you to be a great individual cause you either a part of the problem or a part of the solution,” says Mr. T.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."